Fort Wayne 'Excited' For Potential Downtown Boutique Hotel

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FORT WAYNE -

The director of redevelopment for the city of Fort Wayne says a proposed $28 million boutique in hotel has city officials excited. Nancy Townsend says the 125-room hotel, being developed by Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Oregon-based Provenance Hotels will bring a boost to the prominent Harrison Corridor in the city's downtown.

Plans for the project, which includes restaurant and entertainment space, were announced Monday. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Townsend said the area has been a key corridor in the city's master planning efforts for years. 

"(The area) is the connecting corridor to connect our riverfront with Harrison Square, Parkview Field and even ultimately on to Electric Works," said Townsend. "This is a corner property so the location is ideal. (The hotel) would be located on an existing surface lot that's owned by the city's redevelopment commission and also by the county that is not generating any property tax revenue. It's certainly not the best use for a corner property in downtown."

Townsend says the project will not only enhance the area, but it will provide additional 18-to-24 hour street-level activity.

The city says the hotel is an answer to a 2014 Grand Wayne Convention Center Strategic Analysis, which said there was a "critical" need for more downtown hotel space, particularly boutique hotel rooms. It comes in addition to plans announced in September for a $20 million, 125-room Hampton Inn & Suites, which could open in 2019.

Townsend says she expects to have all of the public and private funding for the project approved by the end of the year. Construction on the hotel could begin in early 2018 and be complete as early as mid-2019.

Townsend says the hotel will be located on a very prominent downtown area.
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